A borrowed bike, sheltering in a shed during Storm Ellen and having to watch videos to learn how to repair punctures are just some of the trials of two former hotel workers on a mammoth coastal charity cycle
TWO West Cork friends are currently in the middle of a gruelling four-week cycling tour of the entire coast of Ireland for charity.
The duo – Joe McCarthy from Drimoleague and Seán Gordon from Rosscarbery – regard themselves as ‘not great cyclists’ but nevertheless have undertaken the 2,500km cycle while raising funds for both West Cork Rapid Response and Pieta House and even found themselves caught up in Storm Ellen but thankfully got through it.
Now into their third week in the saddle and pedalling through Co Donegal, the pair – who recently finished up working at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery – have described their adventure as ‘a quarter-life crisis’ and highlights so far include staying in a farm shed in Kilkee as thunder storms threatened their plans to camp outside.
Plus, they also had to resort to watching YouTube videos on how to repair punctures on their tyres, an almost regular occurrence for them.
‘Both of us had wanted to do something physically demanding and we wanted to do something for charity too and we’ll get more money if people see us suffering more,’ said Joe.
‘We’re not great cyclists anyway and had only done one cycle before this but we’re averaging about 80 to 90km a day. It’s just the two of us with no back-up team and with our gear including a tent on the bikes.’
Seán had to borrow his dad’s bike, while Joe ended up buying a new bike before they could set off. ‘So far we are doing well and the weather has been good but the legs are sore alright but we’re getting through it,’ added Seán.
Joe recently graduated from UCD with first class honours in his degree course in animal science degree and is going back to study veterinary science there next month, while Seán who graduated from UCC in mathematical science, is hoping to go on to study for a masters in France, pending lockdown restrictions being lifted.
Staff at the Celtic Ross Hotel paid tribute to both of them and said that they both used to work weekends and holidays and their loss has been immense. ‘To see them take on this challenge tells you everything you need to know about them,’ said a post on the hotel’s Facebook page.
The duo set off from the hotel on Monday August 10th and are posting daily updates on their GoFundMe page called ‘Doing The Loop’.
They have already raised over their intended target of €4,000 and hope to complete the cycle by September 6th.
For more info see ‘Doing The Loop’ on GoFundMe